In a new study, researchers show how a lack of sleep can encourage pre-diabetic conditions in otherwise healthy young men. Specifically, researchers found that a persistent lack of sleep promoted increased fatty acid levels in the blood. Heightened fatty acid levels disrupt fat metabolism and disrupts insulin's ability to properly regulate blood sugar -- thus, diabetes.
The levels of fatty acids normally fluctuate throughout the day, but generally follow a pattern of peaking in the evening and receding overnight. But the new study showed a recession of fatty acid levels was mitigated by sleepless nights.